PTSD charity says November is toughest time for veterans

Acupuncturist practitioner Naji Malak treats former servicemen who are suffering with PTSD.

Acupuncturist practitioner Naji Malak treats former servicemen who are suffering with PTSD. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2018

The founder of a Norwich-based charity which treats people suffering with PTSD using acupuncture has told of the difficulties former servicemen and women face at this time of the year.

Naji Malak founded Stand Easy in 2015, which sees him provide support and treatment to serving military personnel and veterans.

Moving to England from Lebanon in 1976, he has worked in the city since 1996, before founding the charity 20 years later.

Naji Malak who has launched a new charity for ex-servicemen recovering from PTSD. The charity is bas

Naji Malak who has launched a new charity for ex-servicemen recovering from PTSD. The charity is based on Bethel Street, Norwich. Photo :Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

And in the charity's six years he has grown familiar with the struggles PTSD sufferers face - particularly around this time of year.

He said: "This time of year is a particularly vulnerable one for veterans for a number of reasons.

"Remembrance makes it a really emotionally charged time of year, but fireworks also do not help.

"The noise of them reminds people of the sound of bombs and brings back memories of war."

Most Read

Mr Malak said the charity sees a steady stream of veterans throughout the year, but that November was generally among the busiest months.

But he emphasised the importance remembrance commemorations have.

He added: "I think it is incredibly important to acknowledge the blood spilled in service and remember that people paid with their lives. I think now we perhaps do not realise just how big a thing that was.

"Some veterans do tend to come to us around Remembrance Day and we are here to receive them and here to help them."

Mr Malak said the support the charity offers is particularly well-received by some veterans because it means they can address trauma without the need to talk about it - which he said can prove difficult.

He said: "Sometimes people will suffer in silence and that is a big problem. Sometimes talking is too difficult, so we give people we treat the choice - they can talk or they can not talk, but they go away feeling better either way.

"With acupuncture, people feel like something is literally leaving their body - like the trauma is being lifted out of them.

"Veterans are often very proud people who do not want to say they are struggling, but I want them to know we are here to help them."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter